POLO – In a brilliant duel between Braedon Fyock (31 points) of Forreston and Brady Webb (29 points) of Polo, it was the heroics of Fyock carrying his team to a 54-53 overtime win.
“He deserved it,” said Webb, joining teammate Braiden Soltow in congratulating Fyock at midcourt after the game. “We didn’t play that well. Kudos to him.”
It was a free throw with 1.7 seconds left by Fyock that clinched the win for the surprising 10-2 Cardinals, who moved to 6-0 in NUIC action. That point by Fyock was the first lead for Forreston since early in the second quarter.
After an off-balance 3-pointer in the corner by Webb midway through the fourth quarter, it was Fyock coming back with a three-point play and another quick score after his own defensive rebound and length-of-the-court drive to cut the lead to 45-43 with 2:40 left.
Not to be outdone, it was Webb with a basket and free throw to up the Marco advantage to 48-43.
Fyock put the contest into overtime with two 3-pointers off screens and a pair of free throws.
“Not too many high school kids can make shots like that off screens,” Forreston coach Jonathan Schneiderman said. “He works so hard, and credit to our team for getting him the ball and setting up screens.”
Polo had a chance to put the game away, but missed three of its last six free throws.
“Free throws and a sluggish start to the game did us in,” Polo coach Matt Messer said.
Messer’s plans coming in were to run and limit Forreston to one shot. Neither worked, as the Cardinals had 23 rebounds to 19 for Polo (18-3), and the Marcos never got their track-meet offense in gear. Forreston led 9-7 after one quarter, and the game was tied 15-15 at half.
“Numero uno – no transition baskets,” Schneiderman said. “Our co-head coach Mike McClellan designed our defense to prevent Polo from running. With our fastest guy Evan Kelsey out, we had to do something.”
Forreston 54, Polo 53, OT
Star of the game: Braedon Fyock, Forreston, 31 points, game-winning free throw in OT
Key performers: Brady Webb, Polo, 29 points (19 in 2nd half & OT); Braiden Soltow, Polo, 14 points (12 in 2nd half)
Up next: Polo at Amboy, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday